With the acquisition of the company Bekto Precisa from Goražde in Bosnia Herzegovina, EMKA has announced another milestone in its company history. The new company under the umbrella of the EMKA group is going to bear the name EMKA Bosnia. With this a new leaf has been turned over in the company history, which began in 1989, took a dramatic turn during the Bosnian war in the 1990s, evolved into a “miracle” in the 2000s; and the current situation illustrates that willpower and a deep friendship lead to success if you only believe in it firmly enough.
The company EMKA Bosnia of today primarily makes tools, moulds and injection moulded parts for the car and electrical industry. In the area mould making, the company is even among the worldwide leading manufacturers. EMKA itself has had its moulds for plastic injection moulding and zinc-die casting made there for many years. With this takeover that what belongs together will grow together, as this exciting chapter of the company history shows: It already started in 1988. Redzo Bekto worked in his company R&B Werkzeugbau in Wuppertal and supplied EMKA with die casting moulds.
In 1990, Bekto wanted to go back to his Bosnian home town Goražde. His goal: The establishment of his own production site for mould making. This is why Redzo Bekto founded the company Bekto International d. o. o. in Goražde in 1990. Friedhelm Runge got to know Redzo Bekto already in Germany as a customer for die casting moulds and recognised immediately Redzo Bekto’s great expertise as well as his willpower to make a difference. Runge has always been a loyal customer of Bekto.
What nobody could know at that time: Only three years later, Bosnia wrote a dark chapter of its history. In 1992, the Bosnian war began and marked a watershed in the development of the company Bekto International which had evolved well up to this point. Between 1992 and 1995, Goražde was heavily fought over by Bosnian Serbs and Bosnians
and besieged almost from the beginning. Some of the countless bombs dropped during the war also hit the manufacturing halls in Goražde. Redzo Bekto and 40 of his staff had to flee – overnight as it were - and only with the clothing they wore. Friedhelm Runge did not leave his untiring colleague in the lurch, financed his escape and the new establishment of the company Bekto International in Austria, to be more precise in St. Michael in Burgenland, out of his own pocket - with transferred and new machines. Redzo Bekto, in turn, did not want to disappoint his patron Runge and started from scratch with a lot of hard work – successfully yet again. In 1995, the war ended; Redzo Bekto packed his things once again and went back with his team and machines to Goražde. From now on the company Bekto International has been a joint venture between Runge & Bekto.
In the following years, the company was able to sail in relatively calm waters even though the political unrest in the country still reverberated. The collaboration between Bekto and Runge became more and more intense, the exchange more amicable. Sometimes Runge gave his mould draft sketches to his friend who had the corresponding moulds made with his extraordinary three-dimensional thinking.
“Redzo Bekto is a virtuoso in mould making” Friedhelm Runge says today. “His skills in 3D design are masterly.” Finally in 2005, Runge took over all the shares of BEKTO International d. o. o. and integrated them in the EMKA group after the 10-year-long joint venture. Bekto founded his new company Bekto Precisa at the same time. Until 2013, EMKA expanded its plant in Bosnia more and more until it was literally bursting at the seams. Then EMKA invested 11 million euros in a completely new plant only a few kilometres away from the former location. The production on a shop floor of 20,000 m² now was launched successfully in September 2015.
Bekto Precisa achieved quite a certain degree of prominence with this story due to the report “The Miracle of Gorazde” by the German public TV channel ARD, also because the company has seen an extraordinary growth hugely benefiting the entire region in the last few years. With currently 150 employees for mould making, 35 of which are engineers for the development, design and CNC programming, and the manufacturing of more than 900 moulds for plastic injection moulding and zinc-die casting per year, EMKA is one of the major mould makers in Europe today. The modern machinery with more than 140 machines guarantees top quality and minimal tolerances. In addition, more than 70 people are employed in the in-house assembly department that mounts the special products for external customers as well as component groups for the EMKA group.
With the takeover, the worldwide workforce of EMKA has increased to approx. 2100 co-workers. This emphasises the ambitions of the EMKA group to expand its international network of sites, part of which are state-of-the-art plants at the location Goražde. “Without the vision and financial support by Friedhelm Runge, the last 40 years would not have been possible. EMKA Bosnia would not exist today. A lot of people did not believe in us, but my friend Friedhelm and us, we did. And this pays off today” Redzo Bekto sums up.